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Industry Folks - Mike Estes, Wier Enterprises

image Mike Estes, Superintendent, Wier Enterprises, Houston, TX

HOUSTON - Houston native Mike Estes simply has construction in his DNA. “I basically grew up in construction,” he said.







    He admits he doesn’t do electrical, plumbing or HVAC, but he can do just about everything else.
    Estes started with his stepfather as a youth doing drywall. At 15, he was finishing houses with the crews. At 17, he “couldn’t really make sense out of going to school when I was making more money than the teachers.”   
    By the time he was 18, Estes had his first sub-contracting drywall and painting company, and did all right. “It was a tradesman’s market back then.”
    But, as is most often the case, life happens. For Estes, life happened when he was 21 and fell three stories off a roof, hurting himself pretty badly. Rehabilitation was a slow process and it radically hampered his work.
    Slowly, Estes was able to get back into carpentry and also picked up iron working along the way.
    That way also took him to Chicago and he continued to work as a tradesman. He was in the Windy City for 11 years before returning to Houston. (That’s 11 very cold winters, too. Just saying.)
    Then life happened some more. Estes got involved with some unscrupulous people who didn’t do him right, causing him to have some financial setbacks.
    But as an experienced tradesman, work was always available. He started another carpentry business in Houston and continued plugging away.
    Estes moved into the project superintendent role in 2000 and has been doing that for several companies since then.
    So, instead of being the guy swinging the hammer or saw, making a project, he’s now the guy who makes sure it all comes together, like arranging which contractor shows up on which day to do his thing. He also makes sense of the plans in case there is any confusion.
    Estes said what the best part about being a super is having “control of a project in its entirety.” It’s never dull, either, as “something keeps you always on your toes.”
    He’s even worked on projects as far down as South Padre Island.
    One would think, for anyone in construction, being able to step back and look at a finished building or structure would provide the most satisfaction; that a job well-done is its greatest reward.
    But Estes put a different spin on what success really is, a lesson he learned many years ago.
    “Your true success is when you’re finished with a project and you can have dinner with that owner a year later [and] you’re still friends.”
    Nothing spells success like a lasting relationship. That’s what Estes really likes building. -dsz

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Lexie Velasquez lexie@constructionnews.net